Guilderland town judge arrested for stealing over $4 million

GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State Attorney General Schneiderman announced the arrest of Guilderland Town Judge Richard Sherwood and financial advisor Thomas Lagan, as they stole over $4 million from trusts they were responsible for overseeing.

While serving as trustees, Sherwood and Lagan allegedly took money from family trusts funded by Capital Region philanthropists Warren and Pauline Bruggeman.

“As we allege, the defendants orchestrated a complex scheme to steal millions from trusts they were responsible for protecting,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We have zero tolerance for those who try to game the system and violate the public trust in order to line their own pockets.”

Sherwood and Lagan provided estate planning and related legal and financial services to Warren and Pauline Bruggeman and Pauline Bruggeman’s sister, Anne Urban, since at least 2006. The Bruggemans created a revocable trust, which contained sub-trusts designed to provide for Anne Urban and Pauline’s other sister, Julia Rentz. Other funds were to be awarded to Anne Urban and Julia Rentz if the Bruggemans should pass away.

The complaint alleges that Sherwood and Lagan stole a total of $4 million from these trusts.

Sherwood and Lagan are both charged with grand larceny, a scheme to defraud and criminal possession of stolen property. These charges are all felonies.

The New York State Police Special Investigations Unit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the New York State Office of Taxation and Finance worked collectively on the investigation.

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